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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-07-27

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Moody`s Investors Service downgraded Wednesday Cyprus` government bond ratings by to Baa1 from A2 and the outlook is now negative.

    The rating agency has also downgraded Cyprus`s short-term rating to P-2 from P-1. According to Moody`s, this rating action concludes the review for possible downgrade, which Moody`s initiated on 16 May 2011.

    The key drivers for its rating action are the ``ongoing concerns about Cyprus`s fiscal position, which are amplified by the fiscal and economic consequences of the destruction of the Vasilikos power plant on 11 July 2011``, the ``increasingly fractious domestic political climate, which has increased implementation risks to the government`s new fiscal plans``.

    Moreover, one more key driver for its rating action is the ``material risk that at least some Cypriot banks will require state support over the medium term as a result of their exposure to Greece``.

    The negative outlook reflects Moody`s view that, in the current environment, the risks to the Baa1 rating are skewed to the downside.

    Cyprus`s country ceilings for bonds and bank deposits are unaffected by Moody`s rating review and remain at Aaa (in line with the euro area`s rating).

    A massive explosion occurred on July 11th, at the Naval Base ``Evaggelos Florakis``, near Limassol, in containers, full of munitions, which Cyprus had confiscated from Monchegorsk, a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009. Nicosia was acting in accordance with UN sanctions against Teheran.

    The explosion killed 13 people and caused huge damage to the island`s main electricity power plant at Vasiliko, which resulted in regular power cuts.


    President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will hold Friday a new meeting in the framework of UN led direct talks, aiming at reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Fridays meeting will be the second meeting in the context of the intensified phase of the talks, as decided during the Geneva meeting on July 7th, between the leaders of the two communities and the UN Secretary General.

    In statements after their previous meeting, which took place Monday and lasted four and a half hours, UN Secretary General`s Special Representative in Cyprus Liza Buttenheim, said that it was on of the four meetings devoted on governance and power sharing.


    House President Yiannakis Omirou has stressed that as long as Cyprus suffers under the Turkish occupation, it is mandatory to maintain the operational readiness of the Republics armed forces.

    Receiving Wednesday the newly appointed National Guard Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Stylianos Nasis, Omirou noted that the new Chief of Staff assumes his duties in difficult times after the deadly blast at the Naval Base ``Evaggelos Florakis`` on July 11, which killed 13 persons, caused severe damage to nearby communities and knocked down the island`s main power station.

    ``I assured the new Chief of Staff that the House of Representatives stands behind him, and supports the armed forces and the National Guard``, he added.

    Our duty, he pointed out, is to maintain the armed forces in full operational readiness, ``as long as we suffer under the Turkish occupation, as long as the Turkish threat is present``.

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